Spike Woos Harley to Show

Mar 20, 2006  •  Post A Comment

One of the stars of Spike TV’s first original scripted drama, “Blade,” will be a motorcycle.

Not just any motorcycle, but a Harley-Davidson Night Rod, which will be ridden by the title character, played by Kirk “Sticky” Jones. The show, which is based on the trilogy of New Line films featuring a half-man/half-vampire who battles demonic creatures, premieres in June.

Harley-Davidson does only a limited amount of TV advertising but struck a major product-placement deal with Spike, which will include the Night Rod in each of the show’s episodes. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the legendary bike maker also agreed to a major advertising commitment with Spike, the male-targeted network looking to amp up its action-oriented programming.

“Any time you can get motorcycles on TV, we’re excited about that,” said Paul James, communications manager for Harley-Davidson. “And we think this particular bike really fits the character and the show,”

Mr. James described the Night Rod as being long and low and sporting a new flat black color. “It’s a real menacing motorcycle in a lot of ways,” he said. “It fits with the feel of the show.”

“Integration is big for us,” said Dave Lawenda, senior VP of ad sales at Spike.

Scripted cable shows are increasingly launching with integration deals. Two TNT originals, “The Closer” and “Wanted,” featured vehicles as part of ad deals.

Other Spike original shows featuring integration include “Ultimate Fighting Championship,” “King of Las Vegas” and “Pros vs. Joes.”